The need to innovatively mobilise multi-stakeholder, inter-generational resources, encourage collaboration as well as competence which will inversely accelerate the impact of interventions across the border, hence, achieve the sustainable development goals has been reiterated by stakeholders at a recently held high-level UN General Assembly [UNGA] side event in Newyork, USA.
The stakeholders' meeting which was organized by HACEY Health Initiative in partnership with Access Bank Plc, Ondo State Government and Tech4Dev had in attendance business executives, corporate health managers, along with technical experts, government officials and program implementers at the Nigeria House, 828 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10017, USA with the sole aim of deliberating on opportunities that will accelerate impact of development in Nigeria through investment in technology-driven solutions.
With the theme, "Human Capital Development and Investments through technology; a case study of Ondo State, Nigeria"
each sector was able to lay bare practical steps they have been able to take in order to address issues around achieving sustainable development goals through strategic investment.
While delivering her keynote address tagged, 'Investment in People: Key to Achieving Sustainable Development Goals', the Head of Sustainability at Access Bank Plc, Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan noted that to reduce poverty and inequalities, the country as well as all major key stakeholders need to accelerate inclusive growth and also prioritize strategic investments to achieve demographic transition (lower fertility and mortality), while also reducing the dependency ratio through investments in health, education, employment and empowerment of young people.
In her words, she said, "for Access Bank, a leading Nigerian institution, sustainability has always been a fundamental part of our business model. We focus on creating real value through the careful implementation of our sustainability agenda and have incorporated this into every aspect of our business operations and relationships.
"At Access Bank, we believe that the wealth and strength of any nation are dependent on the level of investment in people. This assertion leaves Nigeria at disequilibrium of either harnessing the strength of its youth and women population by empowering them for the future or leaving them to seek survival by any means. While the government appears to be making some efforts, the private sector that needs the women and youth for productivity cannot afford to ignore the potential."
To wrap things up, Omobolanle however, implores members of the Private sector to strategically focus on key population groups such as women and young people with the aim of providing innovative solutions through various product offerings and business collaborations to enable them to achieve their goals.
Speaking on how the government can boost and sustain the state's economic strides through Technology was the Senior Special Assistant on ICT to the Ondo State Governor, Olumbe Akinkugbe.
With a major focus on the Ondo State government, Akinkugbe explained that the Ondo state government is keenly vested in driving human capital development especially through technology across all its various empowerment and productivity initiatives within all sectors of government.
Speaking further, Akinkugbe also explained that efforts by the state government is reemphasized by the continued investment of the government in the necessary infrastructure to ensure that young people and businesses find Ondo state a conducive place for their aspirations to grow, with a major reference to the recent establishment by the government of the Akure Tech Hub, FUTA; an accelerator poised to incubate ideas and accelerate businesses solving local problems with global relevance.
To further buttress Akinkugbe's point, the Lead Economic and Investment Advisor to the Ondo State Governor, Ayo Sotinrin said, "the adoption of a community based design and project execution approach by the government in all its project and most recently in the rural access mobility project, which is based on cutting-edge road construction technology using plastics, is a showcase of the government's keen objective of developing human resource within Ondo state which in turn yields not just infrastructure development gains for the people in rural areas but economic empowerment for its people."
Away from the private sector, the Project Director, HACEY Health Initiative, Isaiah Owolabi spoke on the needed impetus that can help place Nigeria at the forefront of global development as far as Civil society organization collaborative in the health and productivity of a population sectors are concerned as this is key to helping them live to their full potential.
According to Owolabi, "the wellbeing of the people remains a very important and cardinal part of any society's growth and indeed the growth of a nation, hence, the need for continuous investments in infrastructure, knowledge development of frontline health workers, the use of technology to improve access to primary health care and the application of technology for training of healthcare workers, diagnosis of medical conditions, treatment and health information systems.
Owolabi also noted that "all these help to ensure that the active workforce and young people remain healthy allowing them to contribute positively to the growth of the society while actively improving their skills."